K's Merchandise Mart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
K's Merchandise Mart, Inc.
Corporation (privately held)
FoundedDecatur, Illinois, U.S. 1957 (1957)
FounderKay and Raymond "Ray" Eldridge Sr.[1][2]
DefunctJanuary 2007 (2007-01)
Number of locations
17 stores (at closing)[1]
Area served
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky[1]
Key people
Bill Weinstein (last president)[1]
ServicesCatalog merchant
Ownerfamily owned (until 2000s)
Gordon Brothers Group[1]
DivisionsBargain's Only

K's Merchandise Mart, Inc. (usually known as simply K's Merchandise) was a catalog showroom department store based in Decatur, Illinois.[2] It offered furniture, jewelry, and general merchandise, including electronics, at 17 locations in 5 Midwestern states at the time of its closing.[1][3]

K's was founded in 1957 by Raymond "Ray" Eldridge Sr. and his brother Kay.[1][2] However, by the 2000s, competition from big box stores had eroded K's sales for years, though it had 17 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky. Boston's Gordon Brothers Group took over the company from the original family, appointing Bill Weinstein as president. After an attempt at turning around the stores' operations, K's announced on October 3, 2006 that it would liquidate and close to pay off its creditors in full.[1]

K's Merchandise also operated four chain stores by the name of Bargains Only, with locations in Mt Zion, Champaign, Springfield and Peoria, Illinois. These stores closely resembled a TJ Maxx style offering, with clothing, household goods and furniture. They closed in front of their parent stores, with the final store closing in October 2006 in Mt. Zion.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Reid, Tony (2006-10-03). "K's Merchandise closing". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois: Lee Enterprises. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  2. ^ a b c Murphy, H. Lee (2009-12-18). "Liquidation closes book on K's chain; Catalog showroom victim of big retailers". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2009-09-21.[dead link]
  3. ^ "K's Merchandise Mart, Inc". BusinessWeek-Capital IQ Company Insight Center. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 2009-09-21.